One of the contentious issues concerning Google’s Street View is that it is an invasion of privacy. Some people argue that it is a breach of privacy and security to have photographs of street scenes posted online, without prior permission. The counter-argument is that what can be seen from the street is ‘fair game’ and that it precludes any expectation of privacy.
The challenge before Google is to continue with the project while maintaining its image of being a good corporate citizen. After all, the informal Google motto is “don’t be evil”. To attempt a compromise resolution, Google has an alternative:
“Australians concerned their privacy is being invaded by Google’s Street View application can have their houses removed, after it was revealed Hollywood stars’ homes, and entire streets, have been deleted.
It takes only a few clicks of the button and you can request your home be wiped from Google’s street view.”
This may be fine for those individuals who are pro-active online. Those net citizens may check online to see what is shown by Google. However, Google must realize that there are a majority of people who do not check what is shown on Street View. Some of those people may not even connect to the internet with any regularity.
Nevertheless, Google has offered an alternative and passed the responsibility back onto the public. It seems that now it is incumbent upon the public to go to Street View and prevent any “evil doing” on Google’s part. The irony, of course, is that this option directs an addition stream of traffic to Google’s project. And internet traffic is almost always a good thing.